ERIC Number: ED391571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Issues in Problem Solving Discourse: A Preliminary Study of the Socialization of Planning Skills during Science Lessons in a Kindergarten Classroom.
This case study explored how social interaction during science lessons leads to the development of planning skills in students. An analysis of group discussions was conducted. Questions addressed were: (1) What is the nature of planning discourse during science problem-solving activities with young children?; and (2) How is collaborative planning during science problem-solving encouraged by the teacher to help a student structure problem-solving attempts? An urban elementary school located in a transient, low-income, predominately Latino neighborhood was selected. The class tended to be bilingual, but the analysis focused on activities where English was used primarily. The classroom population was 30 children, and one-third were fluent English speakers. Participant observation notes and unstructured interviews were conducted. Classroom documents and video and audio tapes of 1-2 hour durations were analyzed. Discourse and conversation analytic methods were used to complete both macro and micro analysis of classroom discourse. Results suggest that the teacher's general framing of learning as problem-solving opportunities for all participants profoundly affected the nature of instructional talk, and contributed to an emphasis on learning about planning during social interaction. In this case study, the teacher was in the process of building a classroom environment that engendered group problem solving by creating opportunities in which students could actively participate in planning activities. The social organization, shaped by a complex integration of linguistic, visual, and kinesic texts, provided students with a means to make sense of practical activity as forms of problem solving that require planning. Active participation in social interaction around planning had the consequence of shifting students' roles from receivers of knowledge to producers of knowledge. (Contains 37 references.) (WP)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Child Development, Classroom Techniques, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Elementary School Science, Interpersonal Relationship, Interviews, Kindergarten, Participant Observation, Planning, Primary Education, Problem Solving, Science Instruction, Socialization, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (75th, New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).